By Cynthia Peters
Makes use of the archetypal inspiration of the carnival as a framework to interpret the evolution of ASL literature. This identify exhibits how Deaf artists and ASL performers have used and proceed to exploit their paintings as a method to traverse the limitations among disenfranchisement and privilege.
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Extra info for Deaf American Literature: From Canival to the Canon
34 Indeed, Deaf Americans generally see themselves as having experienced an improvement (despite some setbacks) in their quality of life and a growing freedom to be themselves, to celebrate their culture, and to use their vernacular. Their gatherings and literature reflect both this progress and the need for more improvement and empowerment. ” Historically, it is linked to the coming together of deaf people and the development of a means of communication—sign language—in France in the late eighteenth century, when the Abbé de l’Epée came upon two young deaf sisters, became interested in sign language and deaf education, and subsequently established a deaf school in Paris.
In addition, such festivals play as important a role in commerce as did their medieval predecessors. 6 Thus, Deaf Americans come together from all over the country for periodic conventions, festivals (regional, national, and interna- Deaf Carnivals 35 tional), timberfests, school reunions, and the like. , are all eagerly awaited. 7 Alumni reunions of schools for the deaf attract former students from near and far. The regional and national bowling tournaments dotting the country draw great numbers of enthusiastic participants, and it is not unusual for Deaf people to plan overseas excursions around meetings of the World Federation of the Deaf and the World Games for the Deaf, which convene in a different country every four years.
Notes 1. Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World, trans. : MIT Press, 1968), 9. 2. “Festival Reflects Heart of Deaf Community,” On the Green, July 24, 1989, p. 4. 50 Deaf Carnivals 3. See Merv Garretson, foreword to The Deaf Way: Perspectives from the International Conference on Deaf Cultures, ed. Carol J. Erting, Robert C. Johnson, Dorothy L. Smith, and Bruce D. : Gallaudet University Press, 1994), xvii–xix. See also Erting’s introduction, xxiii–xxxi. 4. Peter Stallybrass and Allon White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression (London: Methuen, 1986), 38.